April 12, 2018
Hello Sisters and Brothers,
The Employer and the Union met again on April 10, 2018 with the assistance of a conciliator in order to try and resolve collective bargaining at Elmwood Group Homes (EGH). This is the third time that the parties have met with the assistance of a conciliator.
The Union restated our last position requesting a wage increase of $1.04 per hour effective the date of signing and a signing bonus of $750.00 per full time employee, pro-rated for part time employees. The Employer responded with an offer of 0.5% for 2018 and 0.5% for 2019. That’s a $0.17 (seventeen cents!) per hour wage increase – after four years. The Union advised that it was not enough to resolve the dispute.
While the Employer was meeting in private, the Union committee received information that the Provincial Government has provided a funding increase to the Department of Social Services with a substantial portion earmarked for front line workers assisting people with intellectual and physical disabilities. The Union requested to speak with the conciliator and suggested the Employer might need time to consider the new funding landscape.
Instead the Employer presented another offer with a 1% wage increase in 2018. That’s the same $0.17 per hour wage increase only all at once, rather than over two years. They also offered a bonus of one additional week of vacation to be taken only once in each employee’s 20th year of service. The members were not sold.
The Employer advised that it was their final offer. The Union said it was a waste of time to take it to the members for a vote. The Employer apparently did not want to consider passing on at least some of the new funding as a wage increase. The conciliator gave up.
The strike activity will continue and further notices of additional job action will be served on the Employer. We will continue to pressure the Employer by exercising the right to take job action until we reach a fair agreement.
Your Bargaining Committee:
Jessica Eastveld, Ramona Logan, Barb Landry (Union Representative), Cam McConnell (Negotiations Officer)